The annual bike ride across Iowa’s at the halfway point today (Wednesday) and riders have seen a change from 100-degree highs on Monday to a low around 50 as they crawl out of their tents this morning. Rider Jon Cook has been along for nearly every trip since the event began, and now rides with a group called the “Tall Dogs.” It’s the 30th annivrsary for this bunch and they’ve asked former and “Long Lost Dogs” to come back and ride with the group. “We have about 115 Tall Dogs riding with us this week,” he says. As the years went by many riders have formed such groups. Cook doubts if his is the largest RAGBRAI group, but is definintely one of the largest. Normally this group will have 75 to 80 participants. The benefit of riding with a group is chipping in to rent a truck, which brings along many of the comforts of home. The truck for Cook’s group has been fitted with propane-gas water heaters so the group can shower, and there are sinks and electricity. “We can plug in our cellphones and take our warm showers and fill up our water bottles all at one location,” Cook says. He says if you don’t take your own along, you have to stand in line for showers for an hour or more for public showers designated along the route for the 10,000 riders. Today the bikers pedal from Algona through Titonka, Woden, Crystal Lake, Thompson, and Lake Mills to arrive in Northwood tonight.
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